The ultimate 4x4 adventure van.
The Mitsubishi Delica has been around since 1968 but was only sold in North America from 1987 until 1990, available as either a passenger van or a windowless cargo van. Never much to look at inside or out, the Delica has long been appreciated not only by workers all over the world but also by off-road adventure enthusiasts. In fact, there's an active Delica owner community in North America and they love nothing more than to talk and share stories about their beloved and imported Japanese Domestic Market vans.
Now in its fifth-generation, the Delica remains popular in Japan for its ruggedness and all-wheel-drive. Compared to minivans currently on sale here, like the Toyota Sienna, the Delica remains quite a bit narrower and far less luxurious. That's exactly what enthusiasts demanded.
At best described as odd-looking and at worst ugly, the Delica underwent a significant design transformation in 1994 when the fourth-gen model was introduced. Gone was the angled look that resembled the Toyota Van (remember those?) and a more rounded appearance was in. Unfortunately, it never made it stateside. Those that have been imported are all right-hand-drive versions.
Power came from both gasoline and diesel engines and rear-wheel-drive was standard. However, the Delica 4WD was always the one to get because of its solid off-road capabilities. Mitsubishi offered trim modifications for different markets but buyers everywhere could still opt for 4WD and a diesel-manual combo. Along with third-row seats that can be folded to increase cargo space, a high ground clearance, and Mitsubishi's time-tested reliability, the Delica continues to be the go-to adventure van. Now that the 25-year import ban has ended, you can buy one right here right now.
This 1995 Delica is currently being offered by JDM Sport Classics in Michigan with an asking price of $14,995. Total mileage: 108,373. This Dark Green Pearl example is powered by a 2.8-liter turbo diesel rated at 93 horsepower and 141 lb-ft of torque that still fires right up without any issues. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the five-speed manual but rather the four-speed slushbox.
Some charming and quirky features include middle row captain's chairs that can slide and swivel 180 degrees, factory running boards, OEM rain guards, and those aforementioned folding third-row seats. Chances are its next owner will be bombarded with questions and comments.